Five Great New Slots, Three Awful Ones and a Peek Into the Future of Casinos at Global Gaming Expo

This year’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E), a casino industry trade show, in Las Vegas seemed short on surprises and long on “same old, same old.”

Yes, new slots are getting bigger (see below), brighter and more clever (bet $2, win $1.25, still feels like you’re winning), but one can’t escape the feeling it’s more of the same, despite the decline in revenue generated from slot play.

Batman slot machine
The screen on the updated Batman slot is so massive, it caused us to feel disoriented and nauseated. We’ll stick to the current version, thanks.

Still, there were bright spots, and here are five new slots coming to a casino near you we can’t wait to play. Oh, and three that are mind-numbingly stupid, but don’t skip ahead.

1. The Simpsons

The new Simpsons video slot machine was easily the most popular at this year’s Global Gaming Expo. The show’s been on so long, there are generations of fans ready to try their luck.

Simpsons slot machine
“The Simpsons” has been on a staggering 27 seasons.

2. Caddyshack

“Caddyshack” holds a special place in the hearts of movie-goers, and now they can revisit the inspired lunacy of this 1980 classic. Bonus rounds based on your favorite scenes from the movie will bring back memories of a time when feature films actually had scripts.

Caddyshack slot machine
“There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and hit the ‘Max Bet’ button.”

3. Breaking Bad

Any show that good has to make for a memorable slot machine. Clips from the AMC crime drama play while you build your drug empire.

Breaking Bad slot machine
For the record, ultra-pure meth would be clear or white, not blue. Then again, it’s a slot machine, not a chemistry test.

4. Ted

We’ve waited long enough for a slot machine based upon “Ted,” the story of a foul-mouthed Teddy bear brought to life. Game play involves lots of highlights from the film, including an appearance by Sam J. Jones, star of “Flash Gordon.”

Ted slot machine
We’re pretty sure this slot made its debut at last year’s G2E, but hey, it’s new to us.

5. Monty Python and The Holy Grail

In another blast from the past, it’s the “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” slot. From what we could tell, the twisted humor from “Holy Grail” translates nicely into the slot machine format, and the words “Killer Bunny” means the slot maker, IGT, didn’t shy away from the juicier bits.

Holy Grail slot machine
They used coconuts in the film because they couldn’t afford actual horses.

Oh, all right, one runner-up. The “Game of Thrones” was getting some pretty good buzz on the trade show floor, too.

Game of Thrones
We’re looking forward to playing the “Who the hell can keep all these plot lines straight?” bonus.

And now for the worst of the worst of the slot machines in display at the Global Gaming Expo. It’s all subjective, of course, but we just happen to be right most of the time, so fair warning.

1. Dumb and Dumber

The name of the slot sort of nails our feelings about this slot machine based upon the original “Dumb and Dumber” movie.

Dumb and Dumber slot
Same question we asked about the “Dumb and Dumber” sequel: “Why?”

2. Cher

Why are they thinking is the audience for a Cher-inspired slot machine? This game could be the best evidence yet that the slot machine industry is completely out of new ideas.

Cher slot machine
Cher made $60 million for her three-year residency at Caesars Palace.

3. TMZ

There’s a new slot machine based upon TMZ (the celebrity news TV show). And, no, this isn’t a joke we mocked up in Photoshop. If there could ever be a dumber idea for a slot machine than one actually called “Dumb and Dumber,” this would be that.

TMZ slot machine
Because the slot machine called “Bottom-Feeders” failed to impress focus groups.

Now, before we leave G2E, we should note the fact there was another bright spot. Specifically, the Gamblit Gaming booth.

Gamblit seems to be on the leading edge of the much-talked-about prospect of slot machines becoming more skill-based, interactive and social. In Las Vegas, Downtown Grand is among the first to partner with Gamblit Gaming, and new games should be appearing in Las Vegas casinos in early to mid-2016.

An oasis of what’s next at G2E.

Gamblit’s booth was bustling throughout our visit to G2E, and attendees seemed to find their games irresistible.

Most notable was Grab Poker. The game is played by four people on what amounts to a large touch screen.

Grab Poker
Get ready for a new addiction.

It’s a fast-paced game, and definitely skill-based. Players “grab” cards from the center of the console to build a poker hand. The winning hand wins the pot (less a commission for the casino, of course).

Unfortunately, no video was allowed, so we’re unable to show you the video we took, below.

Virtually all of the new interactive casino games had social media elements built into them, because social media is, to paraphrase Homer Simpson, the cause of and answer to all of life’s problems.

Whether such games are truly the future of casinos remains to be seen, but experts in the field of casino gambling feel it’s a direction worth exploring.

In the meantime, we’ll stick to our favorite slot machine, Top Dollar. You know, the one that’s interactive (you push buttons), has skill-based bonus rounds, and which we occasionally play with a friend, you know, socially.